LCC Talent Search Awarded Funding, Est. STEM Academy

October 4, 2019


Parsons, KAN. (September 26, 2019) - Talent Search, a federally funded TRIO program was granted a one-time award to provide STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum to students through its newly established STEM Academy. This expansion comes on the heels of a successful 17 years that Talent Search has served students in Labette, Cherokee and portions of Crawford counties.  

Talent Search director, Daneen Landis said, “Our STEM Academy provides a powerful and innovative STEM curriculum and training method for our student cohort. Participating students will explore the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics through project based learning activities, visiting research and science labs at university campuses, exploring museums and career fieldtrips to STEM centered organizations and businesses both locally and across the nation.” 

“There is a high demand and need for qualified STEM talent, and a STEM education is the key to remaining competitive in a global economy,” said Landis.  “Our students in Southeast Kansas have exceptional talents, and our goal is to develop those gifts into excellences while supporting their individual educational journeys.”   

Due to the rigor of this program, the STEM Academy will be comprised of a 20 student cohort based on their application, which included an essay requirement sharing their interest in the STEM field. Each high school Talent Search student in Chetopa, Columbus, Galena, Labette County, Oswego, and Pittsburg high schools were encouraged to apply.  Accepted members of the STEM Academy will be announced on Friday, October 4, 2019 and will participate in this program during the 2019-2020 academic year.  

In addition to Landis, LCC Talent Search is staffed with two educational advisors, Michelle Dayton and Pat Duncan and one administrative assistant, Ingrid Schneickert. Dayton and Duncan work with 17 schools in the three county coverage area serving as academic advisors to Talent Search students. 

The STEM Academy cohort of students will consist of:

Labette Co High School: Mattaya Gibbs, Holden Vail, Gracie Gatton, Ashlynn Smith, Lathe Smith

Oswego High School: Emma Elkins

Columbus High School: Austyn Simpson, Jarod Sheko, Jozie Robison, Hannah Kirk

Southeast High School: Alison Gardner, Darin Rex, Kylie Myers, Kaylee Mutz, Cade Mitchell

Pittsburg High School: Gavin Steier, Megan Loudermilk, McKenzie Rowe, Jordan McDaniels, Natalie Talent

“We believe in the students of Southeast Kansas.  We believe in their talent, their determination and their drive.  We also believe that STEM Education opens the world for students and we look forward showcasing their talents through the LCC Talent Search STEM Academy,” said Landis. 

For more information about the LCC Talent Search program, visit

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